Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in New Jersey

If we had to take a tenant to court for nonpayment of rent and the litigation was needed to secure the rent and we had a provision in lease about attorney fees which did not include the term as "additional rent", is there anyway we could get the legal fees paid for if we were the prevailing party in court?

Asked on 3/13/13, 5:24 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Matthew Schutz Matthew R. Schutz, Esq.
0 users found helpful
0 attorneys agreed

Yes. The additional rent provision affects only the L/T action. You can sue in the Special Civil Part and recover a money judgment for attorney's fees and what everelse the tenant might known.

Read more
Answered on 3/13/13, 5:34 pm
Jeffrey Walters Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Walters, LLC
0 users found helpful
0 attorneys agreed

In an eviction proceeding, the tenant can avoid eviction by paying the unpaid rent up until the end of the day on the day of court. If attorney's fees were not stated to be "additional rent," then the tenant would not have to pay that in order to avoid eviction. However, that does not mean that the funds are not owed to you. It simply means that nonpayment cannot be used as grounds for eviction. At the end of the lease, you can deduct funds owed under the lease from the security deposit (unpaid rent, damages to the property, attorneys fees, etc.) Similarly, if the security deposit is insufficient and you need to sue the tenant for amounts owed under the lease, you can include the attorneys fees which were incurred during the lease. In summary, you would not be able to force payment of the attorneys fees in an eviction proceeding, but you would be able to include them in a separate lawsuit for funds owed under the lease. Next time you have occasion to enter into a written lease, with this or any future tenant, I suggest that you utilize a better form of lease, and take care to state that late fees, attorneys fees, unpaid utilities, and all other tenant responsibilities shall be deemed as "additional rent."

Note: Due to the limitations of the LawGuru Forums, the response to questions posted does not constitute legal advice or legal representation of the person posting a question. The information provided is general. The poster should obtain specific legal advice from an attorney, and should not rely upon the response as the basis for making any decisions of legal consequence.

Read more
Answered on 3/13/13, 5:45 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Landlord & Tenants questions and answers in New Jersey

Looking for something else?

Get Free Legal Advice

88403 active attorneys ready to answer your legal questions today.

Landlord & Tenants Legal Forms

Browse and download our attorney-prepared and up-to-date legal forms from $4.99

Find a Legal Form

Featured Attorneys

Barry SteinDe Cardenas, Freixas, Stein & ZacharyMiami, FL
Timothy McCormickLibris Solutions - Dispute Resolution ServicesSan Francisco, CA
Charles AspinwallCharles S. Aspinwall, J.D., LLCLos Lunas, NM
Find An Attorney

Are you an Attorney?

Earn additional revenue and grow your business. Join LawGuru Now